Created in a fusion of frustration, disgust, hate, isolation and drug addiction; Antichrist Superstar is the unapologetic third album from the controversial industrial rock group Marilyn Manson.
PRODUCTION NOTES -
Antichrist Superstar was recorded at Nothing Studios, New Orleans, and then released in 1996. Trent Reznor of NIN and Dave Ogilvie of Skinny Puppy were anchored to produce it; and at that time the band members involved were - Marilyn Manson (lyrics, vocals, concepts, guitar, pan flutes) Twiggy Ramirez (lead and rhythm guitars, bass, acoustic guitar), Madonna Wayne Gacy - aka Pogo (all keyboards, loops and other original pieces on 16-bit audio information), Ginger Fish (live drums, programming and introducing), and Zim Zum (live guitar).
THE BACKGROUND -
Birthed right in the gutter of New Orleans; in between the absinthe bars, the old slave haunts, the graveyards and filth, the dirty clubs and the dirtier people, it was the perfect place for Manson to purge his negative feeelings towards the world. Trent and he both called the city "Hell". The rising influences on this album stretch right back to the warnings of the imminent apocalypse in Christian school, and continued through his then reading list of books about numerology, the Kabbalah, the Antichrist; as well as his growing friendship with Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey. Combined with a self-loathing growing dependance on drugs, a huge period of inactivity within the band and a disintegrating relationship with long-term girlfriend Missi, it is no surprise that Antichrist Superstar was, and still is, a message of nihilsm, hate, and despair.
THE ARTWORK -
The visuals of the albums artwork, as created by photographer Dean Karr and P.R Brown of Bau-Da Design Group, are a double side of ritually facistic, and the apocalypse monster. In the same colour scheme as adopted by the Nazi's (red, black and white) the inlay that contains the lyrics is both awesome and awful. On one side, is the neat ritual, dashed with symbols. On the other, a blurred, jarring mess, of images growing from murky depths and barely visable lyrics. The exterior images on the CD case (as opposed to the cardboard casing) are absolutely unique. Blue tinged and distorted, they look like some kind of old violent pornography dug out from a cardboard box in your grandparent's garage.
THE MUSIC -
On the surface, the album is the evolution of Boy to Man; held within three "cycles".
Cycle One - The Heirophant; where the Boy is the worm, and he dreams of crushing those who abuse him in his youth.
Cycle Two - Inauguration of the Worm; is seven songs that describe the rise of the worm; the changing, shedding skin, the power and hate that come with long term abuse, oppression and age, the loss of fear, and the eventual emergence.
Cycle 3 - Disintegrator Rising; is the dark hollow: accepting the role of the hated scapegoat, as the Antichrist rises above them all, and in destroying the world he hates, he destroys himself.